For second consecutive time „rider in orange” finished Belgian one-day 1.HC event, in 10th place. This time it was Jonas Koch who sprinted with the best in Handzame Classic.
Info: March 16th, Bredene – Handzame, 199,1km
Course: undulating, cobblestone sections, twisty and narrow roads, finale for sprinters
Koch was the one who powered in the sprint, while Adrian Kurek powered throughout most of the race in the breakaway. It was established after nearly 30km of racing and consisted of 10 riders. They opened up 7-minute lead, but due to the fact, that World Tour teams missed out on that move, they were chasing eagerly to close that gap.
Kurek’s group entered first of three, around 18-kilometer finishing laps around Handzame, with the gap of 3:50. At that point the bunch was going flat out though and the advantage of escapees was being whittled down fast.
Kurek was brought back in with 12,5km to go and this is when his teammates, who could save energy riding inside the peloton after having a representative in the escape, moved to the front of the pack. They were battling for position for Jonas Koch and thanks to that effort he approached the final kilometer in 5th-6th place.
He eventually finished 10th at the line, as Alvaro Jose Hodeg (Quick-Step Floors) took the win, ahead of Kristoffer Halvorsen (Team Sky) and Pascal Ackermann (BORA – hansgrohe).